Glorious Good Friday

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“I have suggested in conversations that whilst church and religion is a great “starter pack”, just like kindergarten, there should come a time when “church” says, “That’s it – now leave here and find the world, find others like you, grow as you will never grow staying here – goodbye.”

I have never had a positive response to that.”

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Another “reflection” on the annual Easter Festival now underway.

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“Either “The bible says we should gather together – that is church”, or “But where would we go, and how would we find others like us?”

Just like questioning Easter.  Tinkered-with and sexed-up to keep it fresh – but essentially the same thing year after year – a surprise party without the surprise.

Does this sound jaundiced?”

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“Yes it sounds jaundiced.

Because there is an alternative.  To actually be one of those “radical faith festival celebs” (just without the festival or the celeb).  Radical faith is no more than thinking outside the (religious) box – enjoying the freedom to allow God out of that box – finding “nourishment” more and more in the everyday AND the everywhere AND in everyone.”

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Why not head over to “Does this sound jaundiced?” and have a look – it is Good Friday after all.

Thank you –

Paul

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Putting off the “love bit”

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“It’s never going to work”, Nan’s Notebook

“I am not a believer.

I left Christianity nearly 20 years ago and have not regretted my decision for one single moment.”

 – – – – – – – – – – – –

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More and more I wonder why we have made “believer” synonymous with “faith and/or religion” – which means “believing” is now “believing” in a proscribed and defined deity.  And is the cause of much verbal warfare (and far worse) … of many institutions and the ongoing “warfare” over their legitimacy/supremacy assumed AND legitimacy/supremacy challenged.

(all of which “gets in the way” a tad)

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I was a believer of many things before I became a “believer”.

I still am.

I believed in love – and still do.  I believed in hard work and getting up again – and still do.  I believed in kindness – and still do.  I believed I shouldn’t be rude – and …  I believed my mum and dad knew everything – and …  I believed my big brother was awesome – and still do.  Just not in the idolising/hate way I used to.

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In short, my living is founded on beliefs of all kinds.  And those beliefs changed and still change.  My “believer” belief no different.

“I am not a believer.” Is like saying I am dead.  Unable to believe anything anymore.  Beyond belief.  Literally.

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I am.

A believer and always will be.

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But what I believe … Now that changes constantly.

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I see Jesus being a believer.

Of love. Of kindness.  Of meeting each where each is in that moment.  Of not labelling or categorising or compartmentalising.   Of allowing and empowering.  Of enabling and liberating.  Of changing for me as I change for me.

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As for the “factual” and “literal” healing and miracles and superpowers and dying and resurrecting and the “evidence” of the bible …

Which must include all that sacrifice and slavery and original sin not eating bacon sandwiches and genocide (repeatedly) of the Old God … 

I don’t need that to be true as I don’t need the New God and the cross to be true.

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For if I need that to be true to be a “believer” … what else do I “need”?

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So, when Nan comes along and blows great big holes in my “believing” (she has written a superb book challenging the “believers” beliefs) … then where do I go and what do I “believe”?

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And all that Old God “badboy stuff” … ?

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My reading is that loads of that (going back to the Garden and forwards) was a crafted and superstitious and controlling bigging-up of “my God is bigger than your God” rhetoric.  Because there is no point in being “Chosen” if your God ain’t the Biggest Baddest Top Table God.

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But – If I read the bible right … I don’t think Jesus needs anything.

Which is the power of love without any conditions at all.

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Maybe that’s why we struggle with love.

We need it to be conditional.

So we argue about “the conditions” …

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which (conveniently) puts off the “love” bit.

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The Good Samaritan?

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Follow-on from yesterday …

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“Perhaps that is why the “Passing By On The Other Side” parable is timeless.

When we don’t know the “other” it is easier to do or not do – to care or not care – to convince ourselves that not doing and not saying is the best response. Never admitting it is the least costly response.

“And that is why LOVE costs.“

Whether it is with a stranger or one of our own.”

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Just what is the cost of love?

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“And am I disagreeing with myself (again)?”  That is the cost of love

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See here for the full post.

Thank you –

 

Paul

An example of being “biblically correct”

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Amazon might be an easy target – but they do what the do really well most of the time.

Most of the time!

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“We had an experience with Amazon yesterday.   An item for one of our grandchildren.  Bulky to deliver and bulky to keep in the house.  But useful.  Something that chills-out Alfie when he unable to express frustration on a dial from 1-10 (as we do).  Alfie just has 10.  And Alfie “chills out” by bouncing – and with more spatial awareness than I have – enough to watch a tv programme and still not fall off the thing!  Special needs are special deeds.

Anyway, Amazon speedily delivered this item bought “Used – as good as new”.  Except it was “Used – not fit for purpose.” A huge tear in the edging cover.  Feet unable to be screwed on to the base.  And bulky.”

“Problem – what problem?”, justmebeingcurious 

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Might not look like anything even close to “biblically correct” …

Or just maybe …

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So to the bible bit …

Seems to me that we use the bible the same way.

We don’t have the authority to overrule the bible.  No one in the organisation or hierarchy has.  But we do HAVE the authority to enforce the bible (on behalf of God).”

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Why not pop across and have a look?

Thank you –

Paul

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Making God in our own likeness (r)

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We are built for the light.
The light of life. The light of new living.
We are built for the light.

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We are built for the dark.
The dark of night. The dark of renewal.
We are built for the dark.

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You are each built diverse.
Strength in diversity. Richness in living.
Why do we not value diversity?

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We are taught to fear.
Not good fear. We are taught bad fear.
Why do you do that?

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You are taught control.
Not control to balance. To control all-everyonething-crap.
What “diversity” in that?

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We are taught un-love.
Transaction of fear. To confuse one with the other.
And now you fear love.

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You talk of false teachers.
Those who teach unfear as love.
We prefer correctness and belonging.
We prefer a flock the same we call diverse.
A monogamous diversity all the same.
Safe to bitch and unchange.
Safe to whine and unlove.
Safe to transact “love” and “law”.
And blame “God”.
Or somethingone else.
Have no other gods … ?
We have made biblically and scripturally correct
Your new God of Gods.

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Correctness in fear (of being wrongalone)

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And so you teach correctly
To (correctly) fear and (correctly) unlove
To (correctly) seek sin and (correctly) transact grace
To (correctly) bind together those who (correctly) follow
To (correctly) out-reach those who (incorrectly) unfollow
We don’t want our (correct) bible changed (really)
We don’t want change (really)
And this is taught as correct (biblically)
And that results in fear (and unlove)
Which isn’t false teaching at all (really)
You teach
Our new God of Gods (really)

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But taught un-falsely correctly

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(r) = reproduced from “Making God in our likeness” – Just me being curious 

Give your mum a hug

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“Mothers are human-beings just like me – just like you.  Mothers doubt … cry … rage … question … grieve … get tired … do their best not to show it.

Mothers know the very thing they create will leave them even as this scrap of life is  ejected so painfully from their very wombs.  Mothers are reminded monthly of their role in creation … in the order of things.  Mothers not yet mothers know this too.  And yet “mothers” are supposed to love-without-condition always and for ever.”

 

A mother knows ALL this

 

“Every mother I have ever known is made of steel.

THAT is love without condition.  THAT is a mother.

A mother stronger than her creations.  A mother more determined than the most focused of her creations.  A mother who knows that love means letting go.  Means setting free.  Means so much more than a card once a year.  A meal-out fitted in to a busy schedule.  A bunch of cut flowers helpfully made easy by the flower industry.”

 

A mother knows ALL this

 

“Love is always the answer … now what’s your question?”

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Love is always the answer?

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Comments under yesterday’s post (justmebeing curious)

“I don’t know how regionalized it is, but where I’m at a cage is what you described, a crate is solid on all sides, except for the door.

I had a professor who told us that (in his opinion) what Jesus meant when he said that the only way to the Father is through him that he was not saying that only Christians could go to the Father, but that only by following his teachings would get us to that goal. Thus, many of those who are not Christian, but follow Jesus’s teaching “as if by the heart”, will be with the Father, while those who call themselves Christians, but fail to follow his teachings, will stand outside watching.”
The Modern Theologian

“A “dog crate” seems to use the word “crate” to avoid using the word “cage”. Guessing that “cage” is a little too “penal” for man’s best friend (or the self-perception of “man” about his behaviour towards “best friend”).

As for the rest – I wonder more and more if we have the same “self-perception language” to “crate” (could we ever admit to “caging”) a God way bigger than any one “religion”.”
It’s for her own good

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And then Mike wrote this post: “Love Conquers All”
Extract …
“The Christian needs the Jew, the Muslim, and, yes, even the Hindu and Native American. It is only by seeing God in his Infinite Diversity that we can see God in everyone we encounter.”

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Why is it that – more and more – “Love is Always the Answer” is as complete as…

I Am

Paul

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